Afghan and foreign troops are getting ready to take back a southern Afghan town that is being controlled by Taliban militants.

Afghan defense ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi says security forces are beginning an operation near Musa Qala, a town in southern Helmand province.

Taliban militants overran Musa Qala in February, after British troops withdrew and handed over security responsibilities to local elders.

British military officials say the goal is to take back the town.

The Taliban says it has more than 2,000 armed fighters ready to defend Musa Qala.

Separately, NATO foreign ministers are discussing appointing an international "super" envoy to Afghanistan. The envoy would help better coordinate U.N. and NATO civilian and military efforts within the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.